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The House I Live In was a 1945 short film written by Albert Maltz and made by producer Frank Ross and actor Frank Sinatra to oppose anti-Semitism and prejudice at the end of World War II.
It received a special Academy Award in 1946.
This movie is part of the collection: Short Format Films
Producer: Frank Ross, Mervyn LeRoy
Production Company: RKO Radio Pictures
Audio/Visual: sound, black & white
Keywords: WWII; Short; Drama; Music; Frank Sinatra
Contact Information: www.k-otic.com
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: A bit off on the facts...
I know the intent was to boost morale, but reality is a bit different...
1. The ship was the cruiser Natori, not the battleship Haruna.
2. It was damaged, not sunk.
What they did'nt say...
They were attacked and shot up by Japanese fighters on the return trip. One man was killed, and the plane on fire. The pilot ordered all others to bail out. Those who got out spent the war as POW's. As the pilot and co-pilot attempted to bail out, the plane exploded and both men died.
The piliot, Colin Purdie Kelly, Jr. (July 11, 1915 – December 10, 1941), is remembered as one of the first heroes of the war for sacrificing his own life to save his crew when his plane became the first American B-17 to be shot down in combat.
Subject: Completely Different Lyrics
The lyrics in this version of the song are very different than the ones that Meeropol penned. Gone is the racial and social progressivism.
Roy Trumbull -
Subject: Lewis Allan
Lewis Allan was the pen name of Abel Meerpol. He wrote the lyrics. He also wrote "Strange Fruit" which was long associated with Billie Holiday. Not all his lyrics were used for this short feature. Josh White and Paul Robeson used more complete sets.
It would be almost 20 years after this was released before there were significant changes in laws and attitudes that fostered racism and anti-Semitism.
Subject: A Good Watch
An outstanding little piece of vintage post- WWII unification propoganda to sell the people that they still needed to build the country together. Sinatra was his slick and smooth self carrying the effort off and very entertaining.
As soon as he began singing The House I Live In I recollected Paul Robeson also singing it in something I'd seen, and wondered if perhaps there might have been variations made on this short movie for different audiences.
Watching this made me a little yearnful for someone who could actually pull this country together so it isn't currently so divisive. It's such a loss to have to wait for a catastrophe or tragedy to occur to bring people together.